• Category Archives Ethics
  • Daniela Vargas Released From ICE; SPLC, Others, Celebrate

    Daniela Vargas
    Daniela Vargas

    No doubt to the consternation of President Donald Trump (it still aches to type that, to say it), Daniela Vargas has been released from ICE. The freedom of the 22-year-old #Dreamer was heralded by the Southern Poverty Law Center:

    We’ve just won an important legal victory.

    Today, Daniela Vargas, a 22-year-old aspiring math teacher, was released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. A week ago, she had been detained by immigration agents moments after speaking publicly about immigrants’ rights.

    It was a transparent attempt to chill free speech and intimidate immigrants who speak up. We filed a habeas petition to force her release and to stop her deportation.

    “We’re joining the community in celebrating the release of our client, Dany Vargas,” said SPLC Deputy Legal Director Naomi Tsu.

    “But we will continue to challenge the unconstitutional actions of ICE agents in this case and will not rest until she is no longer under threat of deportation. It is counterproductive and harmful to our communities for ICE to be targeting aspiring young people in this country and we urge ICE to release other immigrant youth held in detention.”

    Read more about Dany’s case and the SPLC’s efforts to ensure detained immigrants have access to counsel.

    Sincerely,

    Your friends at the SPLC

    “A transparent attempt to chill free speech and intimidate immigrants who speak up” indeed. This was ugly and wrong.

    As is the Trump-declared war on immigrants.

    It must stop.

    More about Dany’s case here. Read. Celebrate tonight. Remember the many, many who do not make the news.


  • Lawmaker Names Bill Banning Conversion Therapy After Mike Pence

    Mike Pence conversion therapy
    Mike Pence.

    A well-deserved jab at dangerous Mike Pence recently from a New York Erie County lawmaker:

    The Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE — would block the harmful practice of trying to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT minors in New York’s Erie County.

    More from our friends at The Advocate:

    Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke is trolling the president-elect by introducing a law banning conversion therapy under his name. Known as the Prevention of Emotional Neglect and Childhood Endangerment — or PENCE for short — the legislation, if passed, would make the New York county just one of a few municipalities to block the practice. Currently, five states and D.C. prohibit the use of conversion therapy outright.

    The name is a direct jab at Mike Pence’s 2000 campaign website, which openly supported the harmful practice of attempting to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT minors.

    Well done.


  • Chicago Ald. Milly Santiago and Colleagues Sound Like A Bunch Of Damn Fools: #Cubs

    Milly Santiago crying foul
    Ald. Milagros “Milly” Santiago speaking during the Chicago City Council meeting. Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Brian Jackson/For the Chicago SunTimes

    Chicago Ald. Milly Santiago and her self-entitled colleagues on the Chicago City Council sound like a bunch of damn fools complaining about not being able to get in to see the Cubs for a World Series game.

    She and other aldermen are crying foul because the Cubs withdrew their offer to sell council members World Series tickets at face value. This after the Chicago Board of Ethics ruled that accepting the special offer would violate the ban forbidding aldermen from accepting gifts in excess of $50.

    They can all go pound salt.

    From the Chicago Sun-Times:

    Ald. Milly Santiago (31st) said she’s “a poor alderman” who can’t afford to pay thousands of dollars for Cubs tickets purchased on the secondary market.

    “We were not the ones reaching out to the Cubs for some freebies or for some special treatment. The Cubs actually reached out to all of us to offer face-value tickets and those Cubs fans have to say yes. I said yes. I said of course I would like some tickets. We paid for them,” said Santiago, who described herself as a die-hard Cubs fan.

    Santiago branded the controversy triggered by the Board of Ethics narrow interpretation of the city’s gift ban “kind of insulting, humiliating and embarrassing for us” for a perk that wasn’t all that hot.

    “First of all, those tickets were not front-row tickets. They were all the way in the upper-deck. If I went like this, I would almost touch the ceiling. That’s how bad those tickets were,” Santiago said, lifting her arm over her head.

    Right. The seats stunk. The aldermen would have been sooooooooo unhappy.

    Imagine the arrogance.

    Imagine their sense of entitlement.

    Imagine all the “little people” out there who have to go on <gasp> ticket exchanges, paying thousands of dollars for the chance to stand in Wrigley Field during one of the games.

    Imagine all the people.

    The little people.

    Imagine a bunch of self-entitled pols crying foul, all the way home.

    Let them pound salt.


  • Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump: Live Blogging

    hillary clinton v. Donald Trump
    Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump. (Screenshot)

    10:39 p.m.

    And, it’s over. Handshakes.

    10:37 p.m.

    Trump goes after Rosie O’Donnell.

    Rosie O’Donnell.

    Says he was going to say something terrible about Hillary and her family, but decided not to.

    10:34 p.m.

    Trump said Clinton does not have a presidential look, Holt said. She’s the first female nominee of a major party.

    “I don’t believe Hillary has the stamina. I said ‘the stamina.'”

    As soon as he visits 128 countries or spends 11 hours testifying before a congressional committee, “then he can talk about stamina.

    10:33 p.m.

    Trump wanders again. “We are losing billions and billions of dollars.”

    10:30 p.m.

    “Words matter when you run for president and they really matter when you are president,” Clinton says. She acknowledges that this campaign has troubled many world leaders.

    “Our word is good,” she reassures.

    Says Trump never said what his alternative would be to deal with Iran.

    10:28 p.m.

    Holt: Do you support the current U.S. policy on first use [of nuclear weapons].

    Trump says China should “go into” North Korea, Iran has power over North Korea.

    10:27 p.m.

    Trump: Saudi Arabia and others should be paying us money.

    10:24 p.m.

    Clinton speaks of Iran. Sanctions were not enough.

    President Obama, John Kerry, she helped, shut down Iran’s nuclear program.

    Speaks of Trump’s “cavalier attitude” about nuclear weapons.

    “A man who can be provoked by a Tweet should not have his hand anywhere near the nuclear codes.”

    10:22 p.m.

    Trump keeps naming Sean Hannity as his source.

    Trump says that he has much better judgment than Hillary Clinton.

    “I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament.”

    10:19 p.m.

    Trump: ISIS formed because of a vacuum formed  by Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton.

    10:18 p.m.

    Trump: “NATO could be obsolete.” Says NATO does not focus on terror.

    10:17 p.m.

    Hillary speaks of cooperating with Muslims in America, not alienate Muslims and push them away like Trump has done.

    10:16 p.m.

    Clinton: George W. Bush made the agreement to leave Iraq. The only way we could have stayed would have been to have an agreement with the then-Iraqi government to protect American troops. That did not happen.

    10:14 p.m.

    Trump: “Had we taken the oil,” there would be no ISIS.

    10:13 p.m.

    Holt: “How will you prevent home-grown terrorism?”

    Trump: Speaks of ISIS.

    10:12 p.m.

    Clinton: “I have put forth a plan to defeat ISIS.” It does entail going after them online. We must also intensify air attacks against ISIS. Take out their “claim of being a caliphate.”

    “We’re hoping to push [ISIS] out of Iraq in a year.”

    This would be awesome.

    10:10 p.m.

    Trump talks about his endorsements.

    Now talking about ISIS.

    10:08 p.m.

    Clinton: We are not going to sit idly by and let state actors go after public and private information.

    “I was so shocked when Donald invited Putin to hack into Americans.”

    10:07 p.m.

    Hillary Clinton speaks on cyber security. There are independent hackers. There also cyber attacks coming from states. “The most recent and troubling of them has been Russia.”

    10:05 p.m.

    Trump says Clinton treated Obama horribly.

    “As far as the lawsuit,” admits he was sued, “we settled with no admission of guilt.”

    That just means cash flowed and the other side was silenced.

    10:03 p.m.

    Clinton: [Trump] has started his race for president on this racist, birther lie.

    Clinton: Trump was sued in 1973 because he would not rent to African Americans. “He actually was sued twice by the justice department.”

    10:01 p.m.

    Talking about a birth certificate. President Obama’s. “I was the one who got him to produce the birth certificate.”

    Lester Holt: “The birth certificate was produced in 2009. You continued to speak about it in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and January 2016.”

    10:00 p.m.

    “I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. I did. You know what else I did? I’m preparing to be president.”

    [APPLAUSE]

    9:59 p.m.

    Again, Lester Holt has lost control. Trump rambles on.

    9:56 p.m.

    Trump: “In New York City, we had 2,200 murders, and stop and frisk brought it down to 500.”

    Hillary: Crime has continued to drop under the current mayor. We have to work with faith communities

    9:54 p.m.

    Clinton speaking of “implicit bias,” which is a problem for all of us, she says. Police now are having to handle a great deal of mental health problems on the street.

    9:52 p.m.

    “We’ve got to address the systemic racism in our justice system. We can’t just say ‘law and order.'”

    Clinton is glad the federal government is ending private prisons. “I want to end them in the state systems.”

    9:51 p.m.

    Hillary Clinton bemoans the negative picture Trump paints of the Black community.

    “Stop and frisk was found to be unconstitutional,” Hillary says.

    9:50 p.m.

    Trump bemoans Chicago, “I have property there.”

    9:48 p.m.

    Holt: “Stop and frisk has been ruled unconstitutional.”

    Trump: “No, you’re wrong.” Blames the judge and current mayor.

    9:47 p.m.

    Trump, “African Americans live in Hell.” Calls for bringing back “stop and frisk.”

    9:46 p.m.

    Trump: “We need law and order. When I look at Charlotte, NC, a city where I have investments.”

    9:44 p.m.

    Holt turns to the question of race. “Everyone should be respected by the law,” Clinton says. “And everyone should respect the law.”

    Clinton speaks of “brave police officers” who also want reform.

    Clinton: “We have to tackle the plague of gun violence.”

    9:43 p.m.

    No focus. Clinton and Trump go back and forth. Lester Holt again tries to take the reigns.

    9:42 p.m.

    Trump, “Look, it’s all words. It’s all sound bytes.”

    Regarding people who did not get paid, “I took advantage of the laws of the country.”

    9:40 p.m.

    Hillary speaks of people she’s met who were “stiffed” by Donald Trump.

    Trump does not deny the accusation from Clinton, “Maybe he didn’t do a good job and didn’t deserve to be paid.”

    9:38 p.m.

    Again, Trump speaks. Lester Holt has lost control.

    9:37 p.m.

    “As far as my tax returns, you don’t learn much from tax returns. You learn from financial disclosures,” Trump said.

    9:35 p.m.

    Hillary Clinton: Trump’s paid zero in federal taxes. What’s he hiding? “There’s something he’s hiding.”

    “Were he ever to get near the White House, what would the conflicts be?”

    9:34 p.m.

    Clinton, “For 40 years, or 39, everyone running for president has released their tax returns.”

    9:31 p.m.

    Lester Holt to Trump: “You have not released your tax returns.”

    “I’m under a routine audit and I will release them” as soon as the audit is over.

    Dancing away from the question, now talking about a trade deficit.

    Holt presses Trump on his taxes. Trump says he gets audited often by the IRS.

    9:30 p.m.

    Trump goes after Clinton again. “We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble.”

    9:28 p.m.

    Lester Holt has lost control of the debate. Clinton speaks of the “Trump loophole,” “Trumped up trickle down” economics.

    “I don’t think top-down works in America,” Clinton says.

    9:19 p.m.

    Hillary speaking of her record. Donald Trump keeps squinting.

    The moderator, Lester Holt has already lost control of the debate.

    9:18 p.m.

    Hillary is keeping her cool. Donald Trump is speaking to Hillary.

     

    9:15 p.m.

    The debate is on. Donald Trump is wandering, drinking water already. Hillary’s best take-away so far? “Trump Dump Trickle Down Economics.

     


  • Illiana Christian To Become “Our Lady of White Flight,” Indiana

    white flightLet’s not mince words at what’s going on here.

    Too many people from Illiana Christian have made comments “on the side” bewailing the “changing demographics” at their current location in Lansing.

    Let us pull no punches.

    Illiana Christian is currently in the throes of a very expensive expression of white flight, running away to Indiana, close to St. John, Indiana, where the grass is apparently greener, but the faces are much whiter.

    From the Chicago Tribune when the move was announced:

    A Christian high school hopes to keep its doors open by moving to northwest Indiana, a decision that has upset some parents and alumni who want the school to stay in the south suburbs.

    Illiana Christian High School voted last month to leave Lansing and head about 12 miles southeast near St. John, Ind., an area that has seen the most enrollment growth in recent years, Principal Peter Boonstra said.

    So, according to Principal Boonstra, the school is moving, building new, in “an area that has seen the most enrollment growth in recent years.”

    Let’s take a closer look at the two areas.

    Lansing, Illinois, according to the Census Bureau in December 2015, shows a population of 28,486. 57.2% of the people in Lansing are white. 34.6% of the people in Lansing are African American.

    St. John, Indiana, according to data released from the Census Bureau in December 2015, has a population of 15,456.

    And here’s the rub…

    90% of the people in St. John, Indiana are white.

    Ninety percent.

    1.2% are Asian.

    Everyone else falls into the “Other Race” category. And those figures are small.

    So, good for them.

    Good for them.

    As for me and my family, we will choose the Lord, continue to live in the South Suburbs of Chicago, that place that is wonderfully, wonderfully diverse. That place where people of many races, ethnicities, and faiths, get along every day, living side by side, building bridges.

    Good luck, Illiana Christian, Our Lady of White Flight, Indiana, where The New Campus page shows three, smiling white children.

    We know what you’re up to.

    You’re running away, teaching your children to do the same.

    Are you really that certain that this is what Jesus would do, that Jesus was white?

    Because he wasn’t.


  • NAACP: A Man Was Lynched Yesterday, And The Day Before That, Too

    a man was lynched yesterday
    “A man was lynched yesterday.” (Photo: NAACP)

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
    only light can do that.
    Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Darkness.

    Light.

    Justice.

    Peace.

    Love.

    Five officers killed in Dallas.

    Five.

    One sniper. Acting alone. While many, many #BlackLivesMatter activists marched peacefully.

    Before that, however, the many lives lost in the African American community at the hands of law enforcement, which gave rise, finally, to #BlackLivesMatter.

    We do not condone violence against African Americans.

    We do not condone violence against police.

    The overwhelming majority of African Americans want peace.

    The overwhelming majority of police want peace.

    The overwhelming majority of people want peace.

    What sense can we make of the State of the Union? What is happening to us? Is this 1968 again?

    Activists stormed the Democratic National Convention in 1968 and were met with brutality by police. Why did they not storm the GOP convention that year?

    Because they knew the GOP would not listen anyhow.

    A mere 12 years later, Ronald Reagan bowed down to “states rights” in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where, in 1964, civil rights workers had been murdered.

    Ronald Reagan was calculating, the “great communicator,” remember?

    He knew what he was doing. He knew to whom he was speaking. The Southern Strategy was alive and strong with this one.

    The GOP has been stoking the fires of the Southern Strategy for decades. And the chickens have come home to roost. Talk about buyer’s remorse. Watch, as GOP leaders try, so desperately try, to distance themselves from Donald Trump. But many of these same leaders vowed, when President Barack Obama was elected, that they would not work with him at all.

    And they spent the better part of eight years fighting each and every thing President Obama proposed, said, didn’t say.

    Whatever.

    From the moment that then-Senator Barack Obama declared his intention to run for POTUS, the number of hate groups in the United States began to grow. In 2011, for the first time ever, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the number of hate groups in this country topped 1,000.

    Their number continues to grow.

    And, now, with membership in the KKK growing, America’s oldest, most infamous hate group, we watch in horror.

    For your consideration, from the NAACP:

    Activists created the NAACP more than a century ago to fight racialized violence.

    Then, we called it “lynching.” Today, we call it “police brutality,” but the effect is still the same — our lives are in danger. Endangered by some of the very people who are called to protect and serve us. We are all tense, angry, devastated, and grieving.

    We grieve for Alton Sterling. We grieve for Philando Castile. And we grieve with the rest of the country over the senseless loss of lives in Dallas, too — because the execution of police officers does not end the execution of black Americans, and it will not put us on the path to change.

    What will put us on the path to justice is the passage of the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act (LETIA) and the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA). Radical reform of policing practices, policies, and laws at all levels must be made — immediately — because the current system is taking too many lives.

    We can take small solace in the fact that the outrage over this 21st century form of lynching is not isolated to the black community. Americans of all races and ethnicities are fighting to put an end to the epidemic of violence — gun violence in particular — in this country. Now is the time to come together as one in grief, in protest, and in pursuit of real, measurable change.

    As an organization, we are doing everything we can to ensure justice is served, but we can’t do it alone. Stand in solidarity with your fellow activists, hand in hand with your community. Contact your elected officials to demand life-saving reforms to a broken system.

    We can — and must — put an end to this together.

    Cornell William Brooks
    President and CEO

    And, we remind ourselves again:

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
    only light can do that.
    Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


  • Trump’s Twits on Twitter Appear To Be Bought

    So, perhaps, you were amazed at all of these people on Twitter attacking those who dare to attack their “Donald.”

    Guess again.

    One analyst has taken a look, and then several more looks, at who these “Defenders of the Donald” might be.

    And, it appears, they might all be fake.

    Fake Twitter accounts created, bought, to attempt to fool us all.

    Check out dailywire.com:

    The speculation about the phoniness of the Trump Twitter army began with a post by Erick Erickson in The Resurgent, and he bases his conjecture on three main points:

    • There are professional Internet trolls who have the specific purpose of inciting chaos in the U.S. through social media, such as spreading a hoax Ebola case in Atlanta as well as a hoax story of cops shooting an unarmed black woman. Most of them were shut down, but the ones that are still active are supporting Trump.
    • Numerous reports suggest that Trump bought crowd members for his campaign launch in June.
    • An organization called Crowds on Demand has protesters for sale to appear at various events and harass people on social media.

    And then there’s more.

    Go here for the complete story.


  • Watch: Groups Applaud Delaware Gov. Markell for Personal Message on Recent Wave of Anti-transgender Legislation

    Today, in response to a wave of anti-transgender legislation in several states around the country, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) released a personal, detailed video message standing up for transgender equality and combatting the misinformation and scare tactics that proponents of these discriminatory bills use. Gov. Markell—who is the only sitting governor to have signed laws that enforce both sexual orientation and gender identity protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations—is uniquely positioned to address the mean-spirited attempts that seek to undermine lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, nondiscrimination laws and require discrimination against the transgender community.

    Equality Delaware, the Center for American Progress, and the National Center for Transgender Equality applaud Gov. Markell for his continued leadership on behalf of transgender people and their families. In response to Gov. Markell’s video message, those organizations released the following statements:

    Lisa Goodman, president of Equality Delaware, said, “Gov. Markell has consistently stood on the side of fairness and equality and today is no different. Proponents of H.B. 2 rushed their bill through the North Carolina legislature in a matter of hours because they knew that when the public has the time to learn about trans people, they respond with affirmation and support. By speaking as a governor who has worked on trans issues, and as someone who cares about transgender people in his own life, Gov. Markell has helped insert into the national conversation the compassion and facts that are missing in the actions and statements made by opponents of equality.”

    Laura E. Durso, Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, said, “As the LGBT community, and transgender people in particular, continue to face an unprecedented number of discriminatory state bills, it remains imperative for those of us living in states and communities with protections to stand up and speak out against hate or discrimination wherever it occurs. Gov. Markell’s video message may be one of the most personal and detailed trans-specific statements ever made by an elected official of his stature. We thank him for helping to educate the public on trans equality and urge other elected officials to follow suit and make clear to the transgender community that there are leaders around the country fighting for them.”

    Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said, “It is so important for elected officials like Gov. Markell to vocally and consistently support transgender people and to do their part to educate the rest of the public on who transgender people are. Gov. Markell has always demonstrated solid leadership, including three years ago when he signed wide-ranging protections for all transgender Delawareans into law.”

    Source: http://www.americanprogress.org


  • John Oliver On Donald J. Drumpf, a.k.a. Trump: No Kidding, Watch This #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain

    This is an amazingly honest assessment of Donald J. Trump, a.k.a. Drumpf (no kidding). This is important political commentary.

    What is Drumpf’s true net worth? The answer may surprise you. Even shock you.

    You must, must watch this video.

    And you will learn that Trump’s real, ancestral name was “Drumpf.”

    No kidding. No kidding at all.

    And thank you to John Oliver!

    Want more information? Try here!

    http://donaldjdrumpf.com/

    You can also pick up a Chrome extension from that site that will change Donald Trump’s name to Donald J. Drumpf on every website you visit.


  • Vatican Cardinal Admits ‘Enormous Mistakes’ in Church’s Sex Abuse Handling

    Cardinal George Pell
    Cardinal George Pell

    The Catholic Church has taken an enormous step in admitting ‘enormous mistakes’ in the Church”s handling of abuse cases – worldwide.

    From the National Catholic Reporter:

    One of the Catholic church’s highest ranking cardinals, Vatican official George Pell, faced four hours of questioning about his role in the clergy sexual abuse crisis in his native Australia in an extraordinary overnight hearing Sunday, in which he admitted the church “has made enormous mistakes” in its handling of dangerous priests.

    And, in response to a specific question, Pell stated, “I am not here to defend the indefensible.”

    The Cardinal testified via video-link, answering questions from “Gail Furness, the lead counsel assisting Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, [who] led Pell through years of the church’s response to sexual abuse, fact by fact.”

    And this:

    About 150 people attended Sunday night’s hearing in Rome, where Pell sat alone at a small table in the corner of a large hotel ballroom, testifying to a camera set up with a television screen. Security was extraordinarily tight, with Italian, Australian and Vatican officers scanning the crowd, and frisking everyone who entered the room.

    Pell is expected testify via video link from Rome for the Royal Commission sitting in Sydney for at least three more nights.